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September 27, 2004

Starbucks - Part 1

I'm one of the few who admits to liking Starbucks. I enjoy their coffee. But the Starbucks on 1782 N. High Street in Columbus is positioned with a lot of sidewalk space surrounding their store. And it's almost always filled with trash. They clean up their immediate legal boundaries, but that's it.

On the back of every manager's business card, however, is their mission statement. One of 6 points is
  • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.
which left me a bit confused. I didn't expect much, but I called the manager at 614-291-5692 (direct line, feel free to call her yourself) and asked about the disgraceful surroundings. It was a terse exchange. She basically gave me the "not my job" thing, it's Columbus' turf. I said Columbus falls short on trash removal around my house too but I just pick it up because I have pride in where I live and it's the right thing to do. She thanked me for the feedback and quickly got off the line (and then probably told her associates of the loon who called).

I don't think a boycott is in order. It wouldn't do any good and I still like the coffee. It's unfortunate walking an extra few steps and picking up an extra bag of trash is viewed as an unreasonable request, especially when it's supposed to be part of the corporate mission statement. The mission. Doesn't that sound urgent? I also don't think the manager's at fault. She's clearly not treating the management of the store as if her next meal depended on its success. This behavior is simply a consequence of the way large business infrastructures treat their grunts. There's no incentive to excel. It's just sad.

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